Is there a tourist crisis?
The war of figures is sterile. But there are some figures which are indisputable: the number of tourists arriving in the Balearics is similar to that of last year. And another figure which is unquestionable is that the sector has contracted more workers. In addition to this, income from tourism this summer will be along the same lines as last year, according to forecasts. Based on these figures, there is no crisis.
The hoteliers, however, maintain that the tourist season is not too good....
It is true that hotels are not as full, but these figures are very difficult to evaluate because sources show that they hardly ever coincide with the report which the Hoteliers Federation makes. We have not used these figures for two months to avoid more debate, but that does not mean that the ministry is not taking samples in the resorts to find out the true occupancy figure. Without the risk of error, I believe that there is a clear trend: a large part of the people who visit us go to second homes, while hotel occupancy is, we could say, good, but with exceptions.
What are these exceptions?
They are localised and I admit that they are big. They are those hotels in the second and third line who have contracts with the German market, as it is the tour operators who determine occupation. There are a lot tourists in general, but hotels which have contracts with the German market have occupancy levels which are, in some cases, very negative. What we have to discuss is the position which the hotels should take with the German tour operators. This is the question which must be raised because when we look at the larger figures, we should affirm that there is no crisis.
Do you think we would not be speaking of a crisis if there had not been a coach strike?
No, the debate already existed, you just have to look at back copies of the papers, but what the strike did cause is an added problem in the British market. The British tour operators were very worried about what happened at the airports but the debate about figures is separate from the strike.
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